In his own words: Mike Luckovich’s best of 2020

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Credit: Mike Luckovich

Credit: Mike Luckovich

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Credit: Mike Luckovich

ByeDon

This was after Super Tuesday, and after Biden won South Carolina. It seemed at that point that he was gonna be the nominee. I woke up around 330 a.m. the next morning and started thinking, and something just hit me -- “ByeDon.” I woke up later that morning and drew it very quickly. I never have my cartoons done that early. Some group contacted me and they ended up doing bumper stickers and t-shirts with that ByeDon slogan, based on my cartoon, so that was pretty cool.

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Credit: Mike Luckovich

First responder flag-raising

This was one of my first popular cartoons this year, because it did seem to get shared all over the place on social media. I kept getting hospital groups and medical groups and others emailing me to say, “Hey, can we use this with our employees.” An ambulance company bought t-shirts with this cartoon on it to give to their employees and hospital workers. Hoda Kotb on the “Today” show put it on her homepage, so it really got a lot of mileage. People sent pictures of hospital workers from all over wearing it on t-shirts.

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Credit: Mike Luckovich

Racism’s roots

I liked this one because you just look at where our country is now; the Trump administration’s actions and the COVID pandemic have really exposed -- and African-Americans have known this all along - just how deeply engrained racism is in our country. I think all this has really awakened white people to how things are. But I think it’s also hopeful, because I think white people are now awakened to how big a problem it is that we have to address to make things better and fairer for all of us.

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Credit: Mike Luckovich

Gov. Brian Kemp in a COVID-19 ward

Gov. Kemp, he’s one of the governors who hasn’t been as strong when it came to trying to take active measures to help lower the COVID-19 infection rate. He wasn’t as strong as some governors have been on this. Although I have to say that, on another important matter, I respect that he has said that the Nov. 3 vote was fair here in Georgia. He showed some real strength there in the face of heavy opposition, so I’ve got to respect him for that.

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Credit: Mike Luckovich

Confederate statues and the U.S. mail

I think looking back on it, that this was one of the most tragically comedic things about the whole election -- the seemingly deliberate attempt to slow down the U.S. mail in ways that could benefit Trump in the election. Because of the overwhelming final vote totals, though, it didn’t really affect things too much. The postal service was pulling down mailboxes earlier this year, as part of a so-called efficiency drive, and I figured the postmaster general Louis DeJoy would not pull down a mailbox that had a statue of a Confederate general on it.

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Credit: Mike Luckovich

Pondering the kid in a cage

To me, one of the most painful, wrong decisions in U.S. policy was separating children and their parents at the border. It was just so cruel. That so many Americans could just ignore that when it came to voting just didn’t seem to me that it should be possible.

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Credit: Mike Luckovich

Lewis’ voting legacy survives him

I knew John Lewis; I’d known him for years. And the thing about him that was so amazing to me was that he was just so unassuming, despite being a legend and an icon. He was so kind and so humble and just really so sweet despite having the amazing courage he had. I wanted to do something that showed just how powerful he was and continues to be even after he’s passed on. You look at the voter turnout in Georgia and across America Nov. 3, and I think he was in part responsible for that.

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Credit: Mike Luckovich

Uncle Sam vaccinated

You know, as everyone reading this knows, this has been such a bleak year in so many ways. It’s painful: We can’t see our families like we want to, can’t travel, and we’ve seen so many Americans lose their lives in such a tragic way from the coronavirus. The people dying of this virus can’t see their families at the end, so they are dying alone. The economy has crashed, so many have lost jobs and people are standing in record-long food lines. I’m getting emotional just talking about it. Yet, we’ve got a new administration coming and vaccines on the way. I wanted to show that in a positive way. Editorial cartooning is essentially a negative art form, in that you’re usually showing politicians’ flaws or policy flaws. It made me feel good to do this one. Just like the cartoon with the first responders raising the flag, it was a positive cartoon and I liked doing that. Hopefully 2021 is a little kinder to us all.

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